Censors In, Liberty Out
Eileen F. Toplansky
“The [Obama] government urges us in this case to uphold a direct prohibition on political speech. It asks us to embrace a theory of the First Amendment that would allow censorship not only of television and radio broadcasts, but of pamphlets, posters, the Internet, and virtually any other medium that corporations and unions might find useful in expressing their view on matters of public concern.
“Its theory, if accepted, would empower the Government to prohibit newspapers from running editorials or opinion pieces supporting or opposing candidates for office, so long as the newspapers were owned by corporations-as the major ones are. First Amendment rights could be confined to individuals, [thus] subverting the vibrant public discourse that is at the foundation of our democracy.”
“…books are always being burnt. The library at Alexandria went up in flames, the Inquisition had their bonfires…books were burnt under Stalin; there have been bonfires in the squares under Hitler, and there will be more and more of them burnt. There are always more people to burn books than to write them…this is the first sign of trouble-if books are burned, that means things are going wrong. It means that you are surrounded by force, fear and ignorance, that power is in the hands of the barbarians.”